LAURA CARTLEDGE Life’s like That...Don’t let work make you miss out on spending time with friends

Whirlwind. That’s the only way I can describe my life at the moment.

But then I suppose that is only to be expected when you sign up for a job in journalism.

One day you will be interviewing Olympic hopefuls and the next you will be battling to see your desk through the piles of papers...If there is actually a desk underneath it all, that is – some days I have my doubts.

In films journalism always seems so glamorous. And I can’t help but think it really gives people the wrong idea of what a career in this industry is like.

On screen it’s all heels, immaculate hair and high-tech handheld voice recorders. And when I turn up in my flat shoes, hair scraped back and with my trusty notepad and pen, I can’t help but think people are just a little disappointed.

Granted I usually make up for all the excitement in the office by living a fairly dull life outside it. Honestly it wouldn’t surprise me if I opened my diary one day to find a family of moths had moved in between scrawls of ‘library books due back’ and the occasional pub outing.

True, this is partly by choice as my favourite ways to unwind don’t usually call for company. Whether it be sitting down with a Sunday paper or even doing cross-stitch in front of the telly.

And I’m not ashamed to say that watching The Great British Bake Off is one of the highlights of my week. In fact a friend even said it is like my football, and he knows not to call me while it is on.

However there are other factors, too. With the majority of my friends also working, we don’t have the hours or, if we are honest, the energy we used to.

But when we do get together, we always marvel at how long it has been since the last time we’ve all seen each other. I am so lucky to have friends you can just pick up where you left off with, which is just as well. And in turn this makes you realise how special it is and how silly it is you don’t see more of each other.

At school and university you don’t have to choose between friends or work as they come hand in hand. But when you step into the big wide world, it’s so easy for the 9 to 5 to take over.

For years I have heard people stressing the importance of ‘getting a good balance’.

Something which I am discovering is more easily said than done, but it is definitely worth the effort.

* A black outlook

We are only a week into the Rugby World Cup and already I am disappointed.

What is England’s black strip about? It’s just not right. Even the numbers on the backs weren’t impressive as they tried their best to fall off.

Plus on ITV the time on the screen is next to the countries’ names where the scores should be. Resulting in much confusion among the more short-sighted members of my family.

I know it isn’t ‘the beautiful game’ but usually it looks better than this.

laura.cartledge@jpress.co.uk